Ayesha Castle & Victoria Castle
Address Victoria Road
Year Built 1840
Architect Sandham Symes (TBC)
Exists today Yes
Link to Lego Castle HERE>>>>
Article from The Irish Penny Journal of 5th June 1841.
Plans to develop a new town, to be called Queenstown, on the estate of Robert Warren at Killiney Hill were unveiled in 1840. The plans which were drawn up by the architects Hoskin & Son envisaged rows of grand detached and terraced houses circling the hill of Killiney. The only houses which were actually built included Victoria Castle, Mount Mapas and Mount Eagle (then called Coburg Lodge), and these were illustrated in vignettes on the plans. The illustration of Victoria Castle states: ‘already built on Lot No.1’. The article transcribed below from The Irish Penny Journal of the time gives a good idea of the speculative development which was beginning to happen in Killiney and surrounding districts as the railway and roads were being improved and extended. (A rather tongue-in-cheek article gently mocking the fashion for faux castles which were being built at the time, a trait of Robert Warren which we see in his additions to Killiney Castle and his alterations to Baymount House in Clontarf)
Illustration from The Irish Penny Journal 5th June 1841
The first stone of the new town has been laid; nay, the first building, no less a building than “Victoria Castle” has been actually erected; and, as a memorial of one of the gigantic projects of this speculating nineteenth century of ours, we have felt it incumbent on us to give its fair proportions a place in our immortal and universally read miscellany, in order to hand down its pristine form to posterity in ages when it shall have been shaped by time into a genuine antique ruin.
Of the architectural style and general appearance of Victoria Castle, our engraving gives a good idea. Like most modern would-be castles, it has towers and crenellated battlements and large windows in abundance, and is upon the whole as unlike a real old castle as such structures usually are. It is, however, a picturesque and imposing structure of its kind, and, what is of more consequence to its future occupants, a cheerful and commodious habitation, which is more than can be said of most genuine castles, or of many more classical imitations of them ; and its situation, on a terrace on the south side of Killiney Hill, is one as commanding and beautiful as could possibly be imagined. Nothing in nature can indeed surpass the beauty, variety, and extent of the prospects which may be enjoyed from this spot or its immediate vicinity, and we might fill a whole number of our Journal in describing their principal features.
Available To Let
For many years after their completion Robert Warren made his Killiney properties, including Victoria Castle, available to let. Adverts similar to the one ->>> appeared in 1845 and for a number of years around this time.
Auction of the bankrupt Warren Estate in 1872
Rev. Humphrey Lloyd 1800-1881
In 1872 Humphrey Lloyd, then Provost of Trinity College, bought Victoria Castle for £5,000-0-0. This provided Warren with sufficient money to settle with his main creditors. The remaining Warren properties were withdrawn from auction when he paid over £11,000-0-0 to the Court.
Humphrey Lloyd, son of Rev. Bartholomew Lloyd, married Dorothea Bulwer in 1840 but they had no children. President of the Royal Irish Academy. He received in 1874 ‘Pour le merite’ from the Emperor of Germany, the Prussian order of the Verdiensthreux or ‘Cross of Merit’.
Clifford B. Lloyd 1845-1915
A nephew of Humphrey Lloyd, (and son of Bartholomew-Clifford Lloyd of Losset, county Cavan,) Clifford B. Lloyd took charge of the property in 1882. The strategic location of this property embroiled the owner in a long negotiation to cede land to allow for the opening of the Vico Road.
The Victoria Castle estate extended from Killiney village, where it was accessed via the gate lodge at the top of Victoria Road, now known as Camelot, down to the boundary with Mount Mapas. Lloyd did not allow public access over his property and a sign on the wall of the gate lodge read: PRIVATE NO THOROUGHFARE. The gates, since removed, can be seen in this Lawrence collection photograph from c.1880. A newspaper article dated 1st October 1888 reports that: ‘a massive gate bars the way from Killiney village around Killiney Hill and that although some residents have privilege of passage the general public are told that there is ‘no thoroughfare’ by the woman in charge of the lodge.’ The article continues that a similar problem exists with another of Lloyds gates on the lower road leading to Killiney and Ballybrack Station. In a report on the proceedings of Dalkey Township Commissioneers in The Freemans Journal of 20th July 1888 John Munroe reports that he has spoken to Mr. Clifford Lloyd and that he ‘would be disposed to give up the lower road to the public on his getting the exclusive use of the upper road and some other concessions from the trustees.’ The Parks Committee were unable to grant about one acre of Victoria hill which Lloyd was demanding along with walls and a tunnel to be built to serve his property. The trustees of Victoria Park resolved that an arrangement be reached with Lloyd by which the lower road, in continuation of Vico Road, to the old railway station at Killiney should be opened to the public. You can read more about the opening of the Vico Road her
Victora Castle Gate Lodge 1880
Fire of 1926
Plans to restore the house in 1927
In 1927 the architects, W.H. Byrne & Sons, were commissioned to look at options for the restoration of the property after the devastating fire of the previous year. The damage must have been significant as a proposal was prepared which indicated the replacement of a very large portion of the remaining building with a ‘bungalow’ retaining the entrance and the semi-basement level kitchen quarters. This plan did not proceed and a careful restoration of the original was executed. It appears the only element which was left out was the roof level turret which was demolished probably due to irreparable fire damage. This was replaced by a rooflight which now lights the main staircase to great effect (see photo below). The following images are courtesy of the Irish Architectural Archive.